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Which is Better MBA or PGDM?

Update on 2024-04-15

Which is Better MBA or PGDM?

MBA vs PGDM: Overview

Most students often get confused while choosing between MBA and PGDM courses, as they don’t know about the difference between these courses.

What is the difference between an MBA and PGDM course? Which course is better, MBA or PGDM? Which course offers better career opportunities? These questions are often asked by students who are thinking of pursuing a Master's degree. In this article, you will get the answers to all of your questions related to these courses.

To find the answers to the questions, you first need to know the difference between these courses.

MBA V/s PGDM Key Highlights 2024

Features MBA PGDM
Full-Form of the Course Master of Business Administration Post Graduate Diploma in Management
Duration of the Course 2 Years 1 or 2 Years
Qualification of the Course Master’s Degree PG Diploma
Basic Eligibility Criterion Graduation in any stream with at least 50% of marks in UG from a recognized university Graduation in any UG course from a recognized university/college/institution.
Admission Criterion Entrance Exam Entrance Exams as well as Direct Admission to some institutions
Course Fees (total) Rs 2-20 LPA Rs 5-24 LPA
Main Subjects Included in the Curriculum Business planning, Marketing, Finance Management, HR Management, Principles of Management, Business Laws, Entrepreneurship, Communication Skills, Entrepreneurship Business Communication, Project work Organizational behavior, Retail Management, Economics, Computer Application, Taxation, Business Environment Information Technology Management, Accounting for Management, Business Communication, Managerial Economics, Decision Sciences, Management Process & Organizational Behaviour, Management and Technology, Innovation and Change, Marketing Management, Financial Management
Average Salary offered after the course completion Rs 4 LPA to Rs 10 LPA Rs 7 LPA  to Rs 15 LPA
Entrance Exams to take admission in the courses offered by recognized universities and institutions CAT, MAT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP, ATMA, CMAT MAT, CAT, CMAT, XAT, GMAT
Examinations Conducted by the University Approved by AICTE to conduct examinations.
Job Roles/Opportunities Sales Manager, Finance Advisor, HR Manager, Marketing Manager, Business Analyst, Business Development Manager, Investment Banker, Chief Technology Officer, Project Manager, and Business Consultant. Bank sales officer, Operation manager, CNC Operator, Probationary officer, Executive Manager, Education policy developer, Business Transformation Consultant Finance Analyst, Product Quantity Officer, PR Officer, Brand Manager, International Sales Manager, Business Consultant, HR Manager, Strategic Manager, Finance Manager

Difference Between MBA and PGDM Course

  1. An MBA course is a 2-year Post Graduate course offered by the universities or Colleges affiliated with the University, An MBA Program is approved by UGC (University Grant Commission). PGDM is a 2-year - Postgraduate Diploma course offered by autonomous institutes (Institutes that are not affiliated with any university), a PGDM course is approved by AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education). Many Top Business-Schools/Institutes (such as IIMs, XLRI, MDI, NMIMS) offer PGDM courses in various specializations.

  2. IIM (Indian Institute of Management): The top Business & Management Institutional body of India also offered the PGDM Program before the implication of the IIM Act 2017, Before this act, the IIM was under the umbrella of the Societies Act, and Societies were not permitted to offer degree programs. But after the IIM Act of 2017, most IIM institutes switched the program with MBA degree Programs whereas some IIMs chose to stick to the original PGDM Program. This fact directly specifies that a PGDM degree and an MBA degree are equivalent to each other.

  3. MBA Program is designed in a way where the student gets more theoretical knowledge, the MBA programs offered by most Institutions have a uniform curriculum as the curriculum cannot be revised without the consent of the University, so the curriculum remains unchanged for a long time whereas the PGDM program focuses more on industry-oriented skills such as developing soft skills, Communication skills, and managerial skills, a PGDM program is flexible, its curriculum can be changed or updated as per industry’s demands and changes. Most Institutes make regular changes in the PGDM program’s curriculum every year according to industry trends.

  4. If you are someone who wants to join the corporate sector after pursuing a higher degree, then you can opt for any of these two courses, As there is not much difference between MBA and PGDM courses in terms of their objectives and value in Professional Areas. There are some differences in the way these courses are designed but the ultimate objective of both of these courses is to impart industry-oriented knowledge and to prepare students for industry.

  5. While both of these degrees are equivalent to each other, the candidates who have done a PGDM course might have to face some obstacles while applying for higher studies or a job Abroad.  if you are planning to pursue higher studies or apply for a job overseas after completing your Post-Graduation, An M.B.A degree is much more suitable.

  6. If we talk about the fees of these two courses, the MBA course is much more affordable than a PGDM course, Pursuing a PGDM degree can cost you between Rs 5 Lacs to Rs 20 Lacs. The fee of an MBA degree is set according to University's standards and hence an MBA course costs less than a PGDM course. If you are someone who doesn't mind spending some extra money on your education, then You can choose a PGDM course without any hesitation or second thought.

  7. An MBA course aims to impart and develop business and technical knowledge among students. During the MBA course, a student learns theoretical concepts about Business management. A PGDM course aims to prepare the students for real-life situations and problems so that they can develop problem-solving skills and an optimistic attitude which will help them in their future careers.

Difference in Eligibility Criteria Required for MBA and PGDM Courses

No there is no such difference, Students who have completed their Graduation (Bachelor’s degree in any relevant subject) in any discipline are eligible for both courses. The minimum required percentage in Graduation courses as per University’s or Institute’s norms.

Some of the Universities/Institutes ask for 1 to 2 years of working experience as an eligibility requirement to pursue these courses. Most Institutions give admissions based on the entrance examinations such as CAT/XAT/MAT/ATMA and state-level entrance examinations such as TSICET, and MAH-CET mostly followed by a Group Discussion or Personal Interview Round.

MBA v/s PGDM Course Specializations

As already discussed, MBA and PGDM courses are similar and equivalent to each other so the course specialization offered in MBA and PGDM programs are also coherent with each other:

MBA Specialization PGDM Specialization
MBA in Finance PGDM in Finance
MBA in Information Technology PGDM Information & Technology
MBA in Human Resource Management PGDM in Human Resources
MBA in Business Management PGDM in Business & Analytics
MBA in Marketing Management PGDM in Marketing
MBA in Operations Management PGDM in Operations
MBA in Logistics Management PGDM in Supply Chain & Logistics
MBA in Business Analytics PGDM in Business & Analytics
MBA in Rural Management PGDM in Rural Development
MBA in Event Management PGDM in Event Management
MBA in Health Care Management PGDM in Enterprise Management
MBA in International Business PGDM in International Business
MBA in International Finance & Accounting PGDM in International Finance

Course Fee Comparison MBA v/s PGDM Course

The Average Course fee of an MBA course starts from Rs 1.16 Lacs to Rs 20 Lacs while the course fee of a PGDM course is higher, the average course fee of a PGDM course is Rs 5 to Rs 20 Lacs.

MBA College Total Fee PGDM College Total Fee
Mahaveer Institute Of Science And Technology (MIST), Hyderabad (MBA) Rs 80,000 Rameshwaram Institute of Technology & Management, Lucknow (PGDM) Rs 1.54 Lacs
Institute Of Management Studies IMS, Ghaziabad Rs 6.9 Lacs Fortune Institute Of International Business (FIB) New Delhi Rs 8.75 Lacs
Saroj Institute of Technology and Management (MBA) Rs 1 Lac ICFAI Business School (IBS), Gurgaon Rs 4.05 Lacs
Birla Institute Of Technology And Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani) Rs 8.05 Lacs Institute Of Marketing And Management (IMM) New Delhi Rs 7.85 Lacs
Institute of Information Technology and Management (IITM), Janakpuri Delhi (MBA) Rs 2.88 Lacs Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai (PGDM) Rs 11.3 Lacs

As you can see yourself, The fee structure of the PGDM Program is higher than the MBA Program. We advise you to plan your Post-graduation Budget accordingly and choose a suitable Management program as per your budget.

Average Salary Offered After MBA v/s PGDM Course

Pursuing an MBA course instead of a PGDM course doesn't make as such any difference in getting job opportunities in the corporate world. Corporate companies do not differentiate between a PGDM candidate or an MBA holder candidate.

Job opportunities and Salary Package depend on an individual’s knowledge and skills. A candidate who has done his/her MBA or PGDM course from a reputed B-School or University is likely to get better opportunities and a good salary Package.

As per statistics, the average salary of an MBA degree holder is between Rs 4 Lacs per annum to 10 Lacs per annum. On the other hand, the average salary of a PGDM holder is recorded to be Rs 7 Lacs per annum to Rs 15 Lacs per annum.

But this fact doesn’t prove that an MBA degree is any less than a PGDM Diploma. Some corporate companies even prefer to hire MBA graduates rather than a PGDM holder, the salary package of an individual also gets affected by the Institution from where he/she has done his/her MBA or PGDM course.

List of Top Colleges of MBA & PGDM in India

Top MBA Colleges in India Top PGDM Colleges in India
IIM Ahmedabad IIM Kolkata
IIM Bangalore XLRI Jamshedpur
VGSOM IIT Kharagpur MDI Gurgaon
IIFT, Delhi Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE), Hyderabad
IIM Indore Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad
IIT Delhi (Department of Management Studies) Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management Studies ( NMIMS), Mumbai
Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB), Bhubaneswar IIM, Shillong
FMS.Delhi S.P. Jain Institute Of Management And Research ( SPJIMR), Mumbai
IIT Bombay, Mumbai IMT Ghaziabad
IIT Madras, Chennai National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune IIM, Indore
IIT, Kanpur IIM, Udaipur
Bangalore Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore IIM, Rohtak

NIRF Rankings of IIMs Based on MBA & PGDM Programs

NIRF Rank IIM College MBA/ PGDM Course Offered by IIMS
1 IIM Ahmedabad Executive MBA
2 IIM Bangalore MBA
3 IIM Calcutta MBA
4 IIM Lucknow PGDM
6 IIM Kozhikode PGDM
7 IIM Indore MBA
15 IIM Trichy PGPBM
17 IIM Udaipur MBA
19 IIM Raipur PGDM
20 IIM Ranchi MBA

Why Choose a PGDM Program?

  • PGDM is a much more industry-oriented course than MBA as it is offered by autonomous institutes sits’s curriculum is frequently updated as per Industry's changing trends and demands. While pursuing a PGDM Diploma you will learn about the latest management trends and skills.

  • A PGDM program allows you to choose your field of interest, for eg- If you decide to do PGDM in Marketing specialization, then you can choose minor subjects such as Finance/IT Project/Management/Business, etc.

  • A PGDM Programme is a job-oriented program, a PGDM diploma gives you easy access to fair career opportunities, and you can get a well-paying corporate job right after completing your PGDM course. Most of the corporate companies prefer a PGDM Diploma holding candidate over an MBA Degree holding candidate.

  • This course provides you the practical knowledge to deal with real-time industry problems and provides you with the latest industry insights, hence making you more eligible than an MBA graduate.

  • MBA is more about theoretical Knowledge whereas, in a PGDM course, you get more practical learning opportunities, various seminars, workshops, and industry visits are conducted to give you more extensive knowledge and to update your industry-oriented skills.

Points to Remember

  1. A PGDM Program will be considered equivalent to an MBA Program only if the duration of the PGDM program is 2 Years. 
  2. Many institutes offer a PGDM Diploma course, but the Institution you are choosing for your course must be accredited by nationally-recognized organizations such as AICTE and AIU. 

Why Choose an MBA Program?

  • An MBA degree is globally accepted by companies, an MBA graduate is more likely to get better career opportunities overseas, Most International Business Schools offer an MBA degree instead of a PGDM Course.

  • Pursuing an MBA degree will be a better choice if the candidate is thinking of applying for higher education abroad. A PGDM Diploma holder might face some difficulty while applying for a higher education program such as a doctoral program offered by International Universities. An MBA program is a globally recognized program and accepted by Universities Globally.

  • MBA degrees are offered by UGC-recognized Universities or colleges only and they follow University norms and can easily get approval from AICTE, so there is no risk of Fraudulence, whereas some private PGDM Institutes do not follow AICTE norms meticulously and hence can be fooled by the institutes.

  • An MBA Program costs less than a PGDM Program, the University or University-affiliated Colleges offer MBA courses at a lower Fee structure than a PGDM Diploma course. Most Governments approved Universities offer an MBA Degree at a very low fee because they receive financial aid from the state or central government, whereas Private Universities and colleges have their fee structure, so they might have a high fee for MBA degrees.


The career prospects and scope for both PGDM and MBA are equal. Despite few differences both of these programs hold the same value in the Corporate World, the major influencing factor here is the institute or University offering these courses.

Most of the time, the industry recruiters are not concerned that you have acquired an MBA degree or a PGDM diploma, they quantify your education based on your skills, knowledge, and the reputation of the institution from which you get your degree.

Pursuing an MBA or PGDM Course from a low-ranked college will give you an MBA Degree or PGDM Diploma but it may not help you to improve your skills and knowledge than a High-ranked College or Institution will.

We suggest you figure out your goals and expectations from your Post Graduation course and set some parameters (such as budget, college ranking, practical/theoretical knowledge, plan for higher studies, etc.) accordingly and then make a choice based on those parameters.

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